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Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin

In 1772, the banker and wool merchant Philippe Clicquot-Muiron founded a wine trade under the name Clicquot. This was the origin of one of the first and most famous champagne houses. Son François Clicquot (+1805) married Nicole Barbe Ponsardin (1777-1866) in 1798, the wedding took place in style in a champagne cellar. Representatives were sent to Russia as early as 1802 to boost exports. After the early death of her husband, the young widow took over the business and named it "Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin" (Veuve = widow). The perfectionist woman also inspected her wine cellars at night to watch over the development. She is often regarded as the first entrepreneur of the modern era; her champagne was supplied to all the European courts of rulers and princes. Around 1815, her cellar master Antoine de Müller succeeded in the revolutionary invention of bottle riddling, the so-called remuage by means of riddling pulleys (pupitres). According to legend, the Madame sacrificed one of her pieces of furniture for the first such device. Until 1821, Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin was the only company to use this new process.

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Andreas Essl
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